The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

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Toncontin Airport, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

This infamous airport is one of the most dangerous in the world. It was established in 1934, when planes were not as large, as powerful, and needed less time to gather speed. The most dangerous thing about this airport is that it only has one air corridor, surrounded by mountains. Nevertheless, such aircrafts as Boeing 757 fly here daily.

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

Gibraltar International Airport, Gibraltar, UK

Driver, stop! Let the airplane pass through. Sounds funny, doesn’t it? Still, this is the harsh reality for a small British overseas territory. The runway passes right across the main road of the city. The airport itself is situated some 1,640 feet away from the city center.

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

Princess Juliana International Airport, Saint Martin, Netherlands

The pilot who says he landed a plane in Saint Martin is looked at with enormous respect. Those, who took vacation on its beach, are too. Just a tiny strip of sand separates the edge of the runway from the waters of the Caribbean Sea. The runway isn’t the longest, just some 1.25 miles so the pilots have to land almost touching the heads of people on the beach. The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

 Ronald Reagan National Airport, Washington D.C., USA

Everyone is used to near-extreme taking off and landings here. A landing plane has to keep to a narrow corridor between two safety areas around the Pentagon and CIA Headquarters. In addition, it’s crucial to gain altitude quickly and take a sharp turn left to avoid flying directly over the White House.

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

Paro International Airport, Paro, Bhutan

There are only two airports in this country and Paro International Airport is the only one with a concrete runway. It’s very short and basically cut into a narrow valley at 6,562-feet altitude among the 16,000 feet high mountains. No wonder that only the most experienced air crews are allowed to go there.

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

Madeira International Airport, Santa Cruz, Madeira, Portugal

The length of runway in Madeira is enough to land or take off, but how was that length attained? Most of it resides on 180 posts, made of armored concrete  9.8 feet in diameter and 164 feet high each. Besides, to land here the pilot has to direct the plane at the mountain and then take a sharp curve in the last moment to get to the final approach track.

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

Matekane Air Strip, Lesotho

The pilot who can land a plane here can probably also land it on an aircraft carrier. The length of the runway is just 1,365 feet and it’s located at the altitude of 7,546 feet. Any plane taking off here doesn’t have enough time to reach the takeoff speed, so it dives 1,969 feet into the gorge and only then starts a regular flight.

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

Tenzing-Hillary Airport, Lukla, Nepal

The airport is named after two men who were conquering the summit of Everest and established this airport. Sir Edmund Hillary probably turns in his grave every time a plane lands here, because it takes great skill not to cut open the plane’s bottom on the surrounding mountains. It’s located at the altitude of 9,383 feet and is the starting point for those headed to the top of Everest.

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

Courchevel Airport, Courchevel, France

The runway in this airport is not that short, some 1,722 feet, but thats not the point. Are you accustomed to landing on a surface, 100% flat like a tabletop? Forget it! 18.5 degrees incline at the altitude of 6,560 feet is a problem even for a small Cessna. Cold sweat and a good measure of adrenaline are guaranteed.

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba Island, Antilles, Netherlands

The runway of this airport is one up on all the others in the world, because it’s less than 1,310 feet long. Only two types of planes are allowed to land here besides helicopters. Moreover, the pilot can’t afford to overrun, because in that case he’ll end up in the sea.

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

Barra Airport, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, UK

Jokes aside, this is a ghost airport. All three of its runways are sand, and only Twin Otter planes can land there. Also, if there’s low tide  there’s an airport. If there’s high tide  there’s no airport. If there’s low tide and no flights, then it’s a beach!

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

Sea Ice Runway, Antarctica

It’s obvious from the name that there’s no concrete or paving anywhere in the vicinity, only long stretches of well-kept ice. It easily accommodates pretty huge airplanes bringing materials for the researchers in McMurdo Station. The only problem is to estimate the hardness of ice and the weight of an aircraft correctly, for it not to break the ice and get stuck in the soft snow.

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

Svalbard Airport, Longyear, Norway

Svalbard is the Northernmost commercial airport in the world. There are signposts showing different destinations around the earth and most of them point to the South. Due to the location of close proximity to the North Pole, the airport experiences all typical weather hazards above the Arctic Circle.

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

Qamdo Bamda, Changdu, Tibet, China

It’s the highest located airport in the world at the altitude of 14,000 feet. Even more impressive is its runway of 2.2 miles! It is the length of 60 soccer fields, which might seem a bit unreasonable. However, it’s technically justified, because it takes twice the length of a normal brake way at this altitude.

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World

Gustaf III Airport, St Jean, Saint Barthélemy, France

This small airport in the Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy creates some danger for pilots and passengers. The air corridor for the runway is unbelievably narrow and the landing airplanes get dangerously close to the slopes of the surrounding highland. Not to mention, they risk just falling into the ocean.

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World


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